NEWSLINE: Hawkins from redshirt to first unit

IT'S ENOUGH TO make a true freshman's head spin. Xavier Hawkins was being redshirted about 48 hours ago. On Monday, he was running with the first unit at flanker, according to the Oregonian. Hawkins is undergoing a crash course because starter Victor Bolden is out (dislocated finger) for the game Saturday at USC and second-string flanker Rahmel Dockery was limited on Monday with a hip pointer.

Rahmel Dockery is expected to be ready to play by the time Saturday rolls around. But that doesn't mean Xavier Hawkins also isn't going to see plenty of turns.

Dockery is also expected to take over the punt return job as long as Bolden is absent. If not, Terron Ward will fill in.

The Oregonian also reported that Luke Del Rio is now the backup quarterback. Brent Vanderveen had originally earned the backup job at the end of fall camp.

The USC fight song was played during the middle of practice on Monday in Corvallis.

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  • The line out of Las Vegas has Oregon State as an 11-point underdog to the Trojans.

  • USC was off this past week on a bye. Their last game was the stunning 37-31 upset of the then-No. 9 ranked Trojans.

  • USC quarterback Cody Kessler was sacked five times in the loss. The Trojans gained but 20 yards on 29 carries while allowing Boston College to rack up 452 yards rushing -- after allowing just 128 hashes the week before against Stanford.

  • USC is ranked 18th in the AP poll, No. 22 in the Coaches' poll.

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